my reflection

4 May 2010 at 9:55 am 1 comment

Perhaps I was naive, but I honestly thought this week wouldn’t be too difficult. Yes, there was the problem of putting on make-up without actually seeing what I was doing, but I thought that would be about it… right?

The biggest problem was avoidance. Since when did so many wall-length mirrors get put in? It was almost as if I couldn’t walk 10 steps without running into a huge mirror! My tiny apartment was the only building I stepped into regularly that didn’t have a mirror in the bathroom the size of a colossus. I suddenly felt out of vogue.

You might think that going a whole week without looking seriously at myself would make fashion and style a bit less relevant – and it might have, if I’d had the fortune to be cloistered in a nunnery with simple walls and gardens and women who all wore the same outfit. But I was still a part of society and I could only gauge my looks by what other people’s gaze told me. I no longer had my own barometer, my own weathervane, my own Geiger counter, so their opinion was all I had.

And as every anorexic teenager can testify — basing your self-view purely on everyone else’s view is never a good idea.

I have to confess that I did cheat a little bit. Because I felt just so “blah” I had to go shopping. And not just any shopping. I had to go shopping for clothes. And I couldn’t shop for clothes without looking into a mirror at all! I justified the offense by only looking at the clothes – not at my face or hair, which only made me feel strangely disembodied, like some headless horseman. But the headless horseman found some jeans that made its butt look good, so who needed a head?

Perhaps the worst part of the week was that I felt like I was avoiding myself. Whenever I happened to catch my own eye, my first thought was always, “She looks familiar! … oh, its me – of course she’s familiar stupid! Now look away!” I was avoiding my own face as though it were illegal. And as a result I lost some of that bitter, yet insightful self-contemplation that happens when you look at yourself in the mirror.

It usually happens when I am washing my face. I wet, wash & scrub and then rinse. As the water falls in shiny drops down my face, I keep my eyes closed until I feel the soft towel press against my face. Then I look up and I look into — well, I look into me. I take in the eyes, the brows, the small scar that resides just below my lip, and I think about all the things I am doing. I think about what I am, what I have been, and what I really want to be…what I really want that reflection to look like when it looks back at me.

THIS WEEK: A week without cookies, cake or candy! (or any baked dessert)

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Entry filed under: word of the week. Tags: , , , .

apology holiday overbooking

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rebekah  |  4 May 2010 at 11:12 am

    That sounded a lot easier than Cheese-Free Week. =)

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